VOEvent  defines the content and meaning of a standard information packet for representing, transmitting, publishing and archiving information about a transient celestial event, with the implication that timely follow-up is of interest. The objective is to motivate the observation of targets-of-opportunity, to drive robotic telescopes, to trigger archive searches, and to alert the community. VOEvent is focused on the reporting of photon events, but events mediated by disparate phenomena such as neutrinos, gravitational waves, and solar or atmospheric particle bursts may also be reported. Structured data is used, rather than natural language, so that automated systems can effectively interpret VOEvent packets. Each packet may contain zero or more of the "who, what, where, when & how" of a detected event, but in addition, may contain a hypothesis (a "why") regarding the nature of the underlying physical cause of the event.